“For You is Your Religion and for Me is My Religion”: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

In a series of lessons on the Mufassal surahs conducted in one of the mosques in Riyadh, sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan concluded his explanation of surah al-Kafiroon [109] with the following words:

وهذه السورة فيها : البراءة التامة من دين المشركين ، وفيها : الإعلان لهذه البراءة ، فينبغي على المسلم أن يعلن أنه بريء من دين المشركين ، كما أن المشركين بريئون من دين الله ، وليس كما يفهم بعض الجهلة ، أو أهل الضلال الذين ينادون بعدم الإنكار على المشركين ، مستشهدين بقوله : [لكم دينكم ولي دين] فلا تنكروا على المشركين ، وينادون بحرية الأديان . ـ

This surah contains a complete disavowal of the religion of the mushrikoon. It also contains an open declaration of this disavowal, so Muslims ought to openly declare that they are free of the religion of the mushirkoon, just as the mushrikoon are not connected to Allah’s religion.

And it is not as some ignorant or misguided people think, those who advocate that we should not criticize or voice disapproval of the mushrikoon, using Allah’s statement:

لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ وَلِيَ دِينِ

For you is your religion and for me is my religion [109:6]

as evidence. So they say that you should not criticize the mushrikoon and they call for religious freedom.

فهذا من باب البراءة ، وليس من باب التراضي بيننا وبين الكفار والمشركين ، وليس من باب التسوية ، وإنما هذه الآية براءة من دين المشركين وإن كانوا يعبدون الله ببعض أنواع العبادات ، فهذه العبادات لا تنفع ، ولا تزيدهم شيئا ، لأن العبادة إذا خالطها الشرك بطلت ، كما أن الحدث والنجاسة إذا خالطت الطهارة بطلت . ـ

But this ayah is a statement of disavowal, not a statement of mutual acceptance between the Muslims and the disbelievers and mushrukoon, nor is it a statement of equality between them. This ayah is plainly a disavowal of the religion of the mushrikoon, even if they do direct some acts of worship towards Allah. But these acts of worship do not benefit them, nor do they bring them any good. That is because if worship is mixed with shirk it becomes invalid, just as if filth and uncleanliness is mixed with ritual purity then the purity is spoiled.

ولهذا ينبغي الانتباء لهذه الأمور التي ينادي ، ويقول بها كثير ممن يدعون الأسلام ويصلون ويصومون ويحجون ويعتمرون ويذكرون الله كثيرا في أورادهم ثم إنهم يدعون غير الله ويذبحون لغير الله وينذرون لغير الله ويستغيثون بالأموات ، فهؤلاء عباداتهم باطلة ولا يقبلها الله وهم مشركون وإن كانوا يتسمون بالمسلمين ، فهم مشركون على الحقيقة ، فيجب أن يتنبه لهذا هؤلاء المغرورون ، لأن هذا تنبيه عظيم من الله على أن المسلم يجب عليه أن يتبرأ من دين الكفار بل يصرح بهذا . ـ

So awareness of these issues needs to be spread. And there are many who make such claims – people who ascribe to Islam and pray, fast, perform Hajj and ‘Umrah, and remember Allah abundantly in their daily practice, but then these same people  supplicate to others besides Allah, make sacrifices to others besides Allah, and seek assistance from the dead. The worship of such people is invalid and Allah will not accept it: they are mushrikoon. Even if they call themselves Muslims, in reality they are mushrikoon. So these deluded people must be made aware, for this surah is a serious alert from Allah that the Muslims must disassociate themselves from the religion of the disbelievers. In fact this message is explicit.

ـ [لكم دينكم] الذي هو دين الشرك ، [ولي دين] الذي هو دين التوحيد . ـ

لَكُمْ دِينُكُمْ

For you is your religion …

which is the religion of shirk

وَلِيَ دِينِ

… and for me is my religion

which is the religion of tawheed.

فيجب على المسلمين أن يتبرئوا من دين الكفار أو المشركين ، ويجب أن يصرحوا بذلك ، وهذه السورة قائمة بهذا الشيء ، بل القرآن الكريم كله قائم به ، فكيف نتنساهل ونتقارب معهم كما يسمون ذلك الآن التقرب بين الأديان ، فلا نتقارب معهم ، وأما أن نتعامل معهم في المباحات ، فهاذا لا بأس به ، وكذلك نكافئ ، ونجازي المحسن منهم ، قال: [ لَّا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّـهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ] فيكافئهم على إحسانهم ونتعامل معهم في البيع والشراء والمباحات، أما إننا نتقارب معهم في الدين ، فهذا أمر لا يجوز ولا يقول به إلا جاهل أو ضال – والعياذ بالله – . ـ

So the Muslim must disassociate himself from the religion of the disbelievers and mushrikoon, and he must be clear about that. And this surah is devoted to that message. In fact, the entire Qur’an is devoted to it. So then, how can we take this issue lightly and try to come together with them, such as what is referred to today as “bridging the religious divides”. We cannot come together with them religiously. As for working together with them in non-religious matters, then there is no problem with that. Likewise we can reciprocate good treatment and do good to their good doers. Allah said:

لَّا يَنْهَاكُمُ اللَّـهُ عَنِ الَّذِينَ لَمْ يُقَاتِلُوكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَلَمْ يُخْرِجُوكُم مِّن دِيَارِكُمْ أَن تَبَرُّوهُمْ وَتُقْسِطُوا إِلَيْهِمْ ۚ إِنَّ اللَّـهَ يُحِبُّ الْمُقْسِطِينَ

Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. [60:8]

So we reciprocate their good treatment and we can cooperate with them in buying and selling and non-religious matters. But as for seeking to bring the religions closer to one another, then this is not permitted, and only the ignorant and misguided people say such things! And we seek Allah’s protection.

[Ma Tayassar wa Tahassal min Duroos al-Qur’an fee Hizb al-Mufassal 2/518-519]

See also: Whoever wills, let him believe; and whoever wills, let him disbelieve – Tafsir al-Sa’di & Tafsir al-Shinqeeti

See also: Birr and Ihsan towards Non-Muslims: Ibn al-Qayyim

See also: Cutting Off Shirk at its Very Roots: Tafsir al-Sa’di

3 thoughts on ““For You is Your Religion and for Me is My Religion”: Sheikh Saalih al-Fawzan

  1. Pingback: Whoever wills, let him believe; and whoever wills, let him disbelieve – Tafsir al-Sa’di & Tafsir al-Shinqeeti | Tulayhah

  2. السلام عليكم و رحمة الله و بركاته
    Correction:

    “So then, how can we be take this issue lightly”

    The “be” seems out of place.

    I couldn’t find a place on the website to contact the translator, so I figured I’d comment on the article itself.

    May Allah reward those involved with this site and increase them in knowledge and firmness upon the truth.

    جزاكم الله خيرا

    • وعليكم السلام ورحمة الله وبركاته

      This is a great help, may Allah reward you. We have made the correction now. We have a point of contact listed on the “about” page, but commenting directly on the article is very helpful and more direct, baarakAllaahu feek.

      Ameen, and for you as well!

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